The Advanced Field Course in Ecology and Conservation - Xishuangbanna (AFEC-X) comes to its 12th year. On October 15, the AFEC-X 2020 opened at the headquarters of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG).
Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the AFEC-X 2020 integrated offline and online training. 17 students will have offline courses and 109 participants from different countries will have online training.
Prof. Chen Jin, director of XTBG, delivered an opening speech. He said that XTBG continuously hosted the AFEC-X since 2009 and played an important role in cultivating early-career researchers of ecology and conservation biology in Asian countries.
Head teacher of the training courses talked about the history and status quo of field trainings in tropical areas, and introduced targets of the advanced field course in ecology and conservation, and curriculum of this course.
AFEC-X is a six-week long intensive program, consisting “Lectures and practices”, “Field trips”, “Students' own work presentation”, “Group project” and “Course symposium”. Participants will gain basic and cutting-edge knowledge of the tropical environments, biodiversity science, conservation biology, climate change biology, plant-animal interactions, etc. To improve students’ skill on data analysis, especially with R, “Experimental design and R statistics workshop” will be at the beginning of the course, then topics that will use R for data analysis, such as “Reproducible/Open science”, “Phylogenetic comparative analysis”, “Community ecology workshop”, “Species distribution modelling”, “Animal movement modelling” etc. will provide chances to learn new methods and practice R.
Offline trainees will have opportunity to have field studies at the 20-ha plot in Bubeng, Xishuangbanna. It will last from October 15 to November 26, 2020.
Offline trainees have extracurriculum activities.
Online and offline participants pose a photo.